Ariana Sakaris

Everyone at some point in their life comes across that one very thing that makes them feel so alive. Whether it’s jet skiing, surfing, painting, playing with your dog, or spending time with people you love - there is something out there for everyone that touches their soul. For me, it’s horses. My mother gave me my first riding lesson when I was 5 years old. I remember laughing so hard I could barely breathe…one of those kids. Since that day, the beauty of the human-horse connection has continually fascinated me.

When I was 11 years old, I volunteered at a local riding school where our project horses were mainly rescues. The majority of the horses were off limits to us, and I was always curious as to why. My friends and I used to sneak out to the paddocks pretending to clean them, and hopped up onto the horses we were not allowed to ride. No bridle or saddle, just tried to see how long we could stay on. It was at this point that I really started to develop a curiosity into why horses behave the way they do.

Later on, being so passionate about getting around as many great mentors and horses as possible, I traveled all over France, within the United States, and up to Canada to pick up as many tools as I could to help me on this journey. There was a period where I was taking a 7 hour train ride twice a week just to learn!

One of the skills I learned from an amazing mentor during my travels was how to lay a horse down without ropes or hobbles. I’ll never forget the first time I taught a horse to lie down using this method. The moment when my horse decided to crumble onto the ground in front of me because I asked it of him is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I remember standing above him looking down at him. At that instant he had total trust in me, and had surrendered his instincts to protect himself and scan his environment. At that moment, I knew I was going to make my life’s work as a horse trainer. If I could learn how to fully earn the trust of these animals- the possibilities of what could be created with horses would be endless.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me what tricks my horses know or at what level of riding my horse is. What matters most to me is knowing how I can use my instincts and tools I’ve gathered to help a horse through a problem. I work everyday in all my interactions with horses to commit to staying present, correctly assuming the responsibility as the dominant leader and protector, and working always from a state of joy.

I hope you join me on my journey- there are hundreds of horses out there to cross paths with and learn from and I can’t wait to share it all with you! One of the most important things I tell myself everyday is to allow no regrets; I’d rather a mistake trying from a good intention than never have tried at all. Live in the moment, follow your heart, hang with good people, and never ever give up.